Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011


I love quoting movies.  Anyone who's read this blog for any amount of time has probably figured this out.  ;-)  I'll cheerfully drop movie quotes into a conversation if I think they'll fit, often in a bad impersonation of the voice of the person who delivered the quote.  Ask me to name the single most quotable movie ever made, and I'd probably name The Princess Bride.  I'd be hard pressed to think of a line of dialogue in this flick that wasn't quotable.(1)

One of the characters, Vizzini, likes to describe events that he considers unlikely or improbable by using the word "inconceivable."  The problem is, every time Vizzini declares that something happening would be "inconceivable", whatever he's declared to be inconceivable almost immediately happens.  This prompts another character to say:
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
This brings us to CCP's use of the word "doubled".

When CCP declared that they would be changing the tax rate on high-sec Customs Offices, they described it in their patch notes in the following way:
All high security Customs Offices are transferred to CONCORD who will charge doubled import and export taxes.
It turns out what they meant was that the tax rates would be doubling, from 5% to 10%.  Problem was, players immediately noticed that the actual amount of ISK they were being charged to import or export items from high-sec Customs Offices was a hell of a lot higher than twice the previous numbers.  I noticed it myself.  The day after Crucible dropped, I moved one of my high-sec factory planets, reestablishing it at a new location and moved all of my PI products to the new location.  While loading the initial factory, I noticed that importing 3000 units of a P1 product to the factory was costing me 75,000 ISK.  And so were the other seven blocks of 3000 units that I needed to import to seed the factory and get it going.  That's 600,000 ISK, which is pretty significant money.  When -- the next day -- I exported the initial output of P3s from this factory, that cost me almost two million ISK!

The previous ISK amounts for importing and exporting had been so low that I had hardly noticed them at all.  These amounts were a hell of a lot more noticeable!

I wasn't the only one to notice.  Apparently, a goodly number of people went straight to bug-reporting this or petitioning it.  It prompted CCP Guard to post a new dev blog this morning.  I quote it here in full (sic at the mid-point, pretty sure he started to type "confirmed", then started to change it to something else, then intended to change it back):
We have received a number of petitions, asking if new tax rates of the NPC Customs Offices are working properly as they are in some cases drastically higher compared to the pre-Crucible tax rates. Our developers have confirthis posmed that the tax rates match the design specifications. Please read this post for more information about the new tax rate on NPC Custom Offices.
Go out and read "this post" and you'll find CCP Guard stating that the taxes were "repaired" to be based on market value.  Abramul on the EVE-O forums was good enough to do a bit of research on what those market values are.  Here's his research:
P0: 0.1 isk/unit -> 0.5 isk/unit
P1: 0.76 isk/unit -> 50 isk/unit
P2: 9 isk/unit -> 900 isk/unit
P3: 600 isk/unit -> 7000 isk/unit
P4: 50000 isk/unit -> 135000 isk/unit
In short, the amount of ISK that you're paying to import and export items from high-sec Customs Office isn't doubling.  It's increasing by a factor of between 10 and 200!  "Doubled" apparently doesn't mean what you think it means.  ;-)

Needless to say, I'll be shutting down my high-sec factory planet in pretty short order here and looking for a shady spot to move it.  And that was almost certainly CCP's intent.

(1) OK, a lot of Buttercup's dialogue isn't all that quotable.  Robin Wright kinda gets screwed.  Comes with being the title character, I guess.


  1. 1%

    That's what our alliance is putting on customs office taxes until the Customs Offices are paid off, then building up a coffer to replace the Customs Offices until such time as we have a sufficient bankroll to replace them willy nilly.

    We had anticipated as an Alliance that this would take a few months of coffer building to put in all the new customs offices and to bankroll replacements in case the current ones get destroyed...

    At 1% tax rate, they will all be paid for in literally 3 weeks... all 178 planets worth of Customs Offices... WTF. Fuck CCP on this one...

  2. No Dannar, fuck hisec on this one.

    This is how hisec is supposed to be, according to the "metropolitan" allegory that keeps being thrown around (and I've taken to using as well)... wanna live in a big, civilized, industrial/commercial spot? Guess what? There's taxes, tariffs, fees, surcharges, HOAs, and even more taxes on those things!
    That's why you see corporate America outsourcing to China, Taiwan, Singapore, and every other "lowsec" country that'll put together a sweatshop for pennies on the dollar.

    Now, just like America, hiseccers are going to have to outsource to low to be "competitive".

    And they say EVE doesn't mirror reality... ;-)

    Personally I'm glad for the change. I already do my PI in lolsex, and I'm glad to see hisec getting a much-needed nerf (and ISK sink all in one!). Two birds, one stone, and the glass Castle Care-a-lot with a few broken windows. I am indeed impressed.

  3. I think it is like this in null too. I didn't do the math, but I pulled out 19mil worth of product today and got taxed 4.5mil. Then I went and eve-mailed my industry boss and told him to please get Custom Offices asap.

  4. Kudos to CCP for making this change to highsec PI tax rates. Risk versus reward.

  5. As a high sec PI runner with no desire to move to low sec just or PI, this most likely pushes me out of the PI game. But that is not what is really important. In aggregate, if this causes a large carebear exit from PI, POS fuel and all other POS derived goods will go up in cost. That's... pretty much everything tech II in the game.

    Tinfoil hat time. If costs of Tech II items go up, and mission/rat isk rewards do not change, this could have rather large implications on the economy.

  6. Just so everyone's clear on this: everyone's going to be charged these per-unit rates, whether high-, low-, or null-sec.

    The difference is that if you set up a player-owned Customs Office in low or null, the ISK will be returned right back to you instead of disappearing into an ISK sink.

    But if your corp sets up the "POCO"s, then that money will be going to the corp.

  7. Screw CCP and risk vs reward crap.
    Wasting my time on PI in high sec is just another reason not to play anymore. Not everyone has time to dick around in low and null sec. High sec is now seem to be either a waste of time or a grind, not fun at all. Good thing steam had sales last week, got 3 games for the amount of 1 month sub that should last me through the winter.

  8. @Hong WeiLoh

    I'm saying fuck ccp because the changes apply to EVERYONE.

    In otherwords, the tax on your PI import/exports is now based off the market price of the goods.


    Major Power Blocks are going to be targeting these things like crazy now... This will be a significant isk SINK in low/null sec...

  9. Autonomous MonsterDecember 1, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    "Needless to say, I'll be shutting down my high-sec factory planet in pretty short order here and looking for a shady spot to move it. And that was almost certainly CCP's intent."

    One of them, certainly. The economy is desperately in need of new, large isk sinks, and this seems to fit the bill perfectly.

    (While it is avoidable, no power in heaven or on earth can shift bears out of hi, and I expect that they'll simply accept the narrowing profit margins until they disappear entirely. :P)

  10. I've been meaning to get this out for a while, but here is a longer version of what I was trying to say above, and some longer responses to comments:


  11. Is it possible to set up a POCO for yourself? I thought you could only deploy these things for your corporation, just like POSes?

  12. LeTrange does a very good job of summing up the change in his blog:

    For the record, he's an industrialist w/ PvP skillz.

  13. @Mara: you set them up for a corp, but a LOT of EVE players have their own corps. The idea would be to set up a POCO for your corp. Then even non-corp characters you have can use that POCO and the tax ISK flows back to you.

  14. This one fact has just murdered all my predictions by the way on evenews 24 btw.

  15. just a Whiney Litte Care Bear view, PI was on of the few things in this game that I could do in hisec, I mainly provided products for my corps hisec POS and made a little isk on the side...perhaps that statue in Jita needs to show some more damage

  16. Yes, I too was greated by a wallet raping export bill upon logon. What previously cost 150k to export now costs 1.75 mil. And that's neglecting the drastic increases in the imports I have to do at either end to get to the p4.

    Yes, I could set up POCO's and move to low, but I fail to see the fun in trying to defend dozens of worlds with a 3-man corp and picking up my goods in a glorified pinata. Especially in space where the vicious little bat-wielding brats aren't even in it for the delicious candy you contain.

    PI was already a chore I loathed, only continuing to half-assedly keep my factories running because it let me pay for my 2nd accounts plex with little effort. If my options are to bend over and take it from Concord, or bend over and take it at a slight delay from pirates, well the only good choice is neither. Time to finally train that hulk.

  17. This is pretty good low security space boost in my opinion, excuse me while I blow up some low sec pocos

  18. It's not the change that rankles, per se, it's the fact that CCP lied about it.

  19. Why the hell do the lowsec and null players give a shit what people in hisec do??? The planets in hisec are only about 10% as productive as those in low and null so they are already handicapped.

    I for one am not stupid enough to try to go anywhere near a POCO. They should just call them OGS, Orbital Gank Stations.

    I suck at PvP and I don't care to have my face rubbed in it every time I leave the station.

  20. I keep seeing risk vs reward....hisec PI provides less than lo/null PI so if I want more then I have to risk lo/null....but taxes are not a risk...unless there is a way to smuggle PI products off planet?

  21. On the other hand, this presents a new business opportunity for pvp in high-sec. Mercenary contracts reinforcing customs. Aim is not destruction, but denial. Or to adjust tax rate...

  22. Jester, the factors are not between 10 and 200, but ~2 and 100.

    And your comment about the same per-unit tax being applied to low, null and WH too is not accurate. Interbus COs charge 17%, not the 10% used for highsec Concord COs. And player-owned COs can set the rate at what they like

    Additionally, the tariff rates for P1 and P2 items were so low that even at 100% the PI tax was only about 2-3% of average final marrket price. The tariffs rates simply had to be changed. Team PI didn't really realise this'd until very late and a devblog wasn't able to be released before launch. The info was posted in the eveonline wiki though: http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/CustomsOffice

  23. ok here's another thought....as a good whiney little care bear I have a standing of 5.80 with Concord....why don't get a prefered rate at Concord run Customs Offices????

  24. 10% taxes seem to me be 10% if the Teir value of the numbers CCP used.

    The numbers used for export by CCP is 1350000 ISK. Well I make mostly P4 in highsec and to export if planet after the patch it did indeed cost 135K per P4 to export which is 10% of the number CCP used from November market value. Previously it coated me 50K to export ever P4 before the patch. I for one always checked the window and wallet deduction to know what my taxes were.

  25. @Mike: Thanks for your comments! Does the P2 9 to 900 isk/unit factor include, or not include, the doubled taxes? If it does, then you're absolutely right.

    My comment about moving my factory to a shady spot included the implication that I'd blow up the Interbus CO and replace it with my own, then keep the taxes myself. ;-)

  26. All I see coming out of this is rampant inflation.

  27. Doesn't anybody here even use Excel?


    Bueller? Bueller?

  28. "(While it is avoidable, no power in heaven or on earth can shift bears out of hi, and I expect that they'll simply accept the narrowing profit margins until they disappear entirely. :P)"

    Just as most powers under heaven or on earth can shift an American to say, Ecuador (lowsec) or Somalia (null).
    However, just as Ecuador and Somalia guarantee a much more dangerous, adventuresome, and _potentially_ profitable existence, America is the slow, dull, steady 9 to 5 grind where you occasionally hear about a gang shooting on the Ten O'Clock News before falling fast asleep to awake bright the next day for your office drone job... and even if you make a decent salary, Uncle Sugar makes sure to take his share to give to...well, everyone else.

    There's really nothing wrong with that allegory. In fact, it's pretty much airtight and tearproof. A lot of people choose to live a life of boredom and grinding to have a normal house/picket/fence/2.5 kids existence... and not nearly as many choose to be in a 3rd World Banana Republitatorship, or lawless Somalia.

    Of course, I would _love_ to live in a South American Banana Republic IRL, too. Go figure.

  29. Those values are wrong. We imported one of each P0-4, set corp rate to 100 and grabbed the values, then set it 10% and double checked our math, these are values that CCP uses to determine tax rate.

    P0- 5 isk
    P1- 500 isk
    P2- 9000 isk
    P3- 70000(70k) isk
    P4- 1,350,000(1.35M) isk


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